Summary Report of the 2nd Roundtable Discussion on the “Civil State” Discourse | Ifi Summary
Summary | February 2013
Summary Report of the 2nd Roundtable Discussion on the “Civil State” Discourse
Within the framework of the Arab Public Policy Roundtable, a second session on the civil state was organized on February 21st after the first roundtable was held in September. Number of academicians and researchers participated in this session, which aimed at discussing the aspired nature of states in light of current events happening in the Arab World nowadays.
Discussion around this topic gains considerably increasing momentum in light of the current debate over the role of religion in society and whether or not Shariah should be considered as primary source of legislation. In addition, discussion around the civil state is revived nowadays in light of minorities’ fears that their political, social, and economic rights would be undermined.
In this context, some analysts suggest that if no clear definition of what a civil state stands for, then policymakers can take advantage of any vague interpretations and consequently pose a threat on both individual rights and public liberties. The most notable of which is women rights given that some ascending powers (particularly Islamic forces) adopt conservative policies toward women rights.